What is Jackfruit?

Jackfruit is a tree native to southeast Asia, Brazil and Africa. The jackfruit tree produces the largest tree-borne fruit, reaching up to 100 lbs. Although it’s a fruit, it takes on a texture of chicken or pork, making it a great protein substitute for such things like vegan BBQ pulled pork sandwiches. Jackfruit is quickly growing in popularity because of it’s health benefits. It has no cholesterol or saturated fat, its low in calories and contains a good source of potassium and fiber.

At Picnic Beach BBQ in Gulf Shores, Alabama, you can jackfruit when you order the Super Dragon smoothie, the Jacked Beach Acai Bowl or the BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich. You can also substitute meat proteins on salads and protein bowls for jackfruit.

We asked one of our favorite local healthy chefs and owner of Roots to Wellness Yoga, Jen Hammonds, what she thinks about jackfruit:

“I love using jackfruit in my recipes. When I heard Picnic Beach had jackfruit on the menu I was so happy our little southern, fried food loving town now had these options! It’s an especially  good substitute for saturated fats in dishes that call for pulled pork or chicken. I like making a roasted rock-fruit BBQ sauce with herbs and balsamic. This makes the light healthy sauce the highlight of the dish instead of fat and empty calories. Jackfruit increases the nutritional value of any recipe you add it to because it’s loaded with vitamin C, A, riboflavin, thiamin, potassium, calcium, zinc and niacin. It’s also so good in “Crab” salad, with chopped celery, and mayo or mayo substitute. A low cost and tasty way to substitute crab.”

Whether you are a true vegan, trying out new Meatless Monday dishes or just interested in introducing more healthy foods into your life, try jackfruit and let us know what you think in the comments!

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